David Sylvian / Dead Bees On A Cake / expanded 2LP black vinyl edition

David Sylvian‘s 1999 solo album Dead Bees On A Cake was issued on (white) vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day 2018, but will soon by widely available on the format as a double 180g black vinyl set, featuring the same bonus tracks.

The new expanded edition offers four extra non-album tracks: Scent of Magnolia, Albuquerque (Dobro #6), Cover Me With Flowers and Aparna and Nimisha (Dobro #5). It’s worth noting that these aren’t tacked on at the end, but rather woven in to the running order of the original album.

You may have noticed also that the artwork differs from the RSD release. It features a photograph by David’s ex-partner Ingrid, plus some rare photographs by Anton Corbijn.

Dead Bees On A Cake on 2LP black vinyl will be released on 19 October 2018. It comes with a download code. You can pre-order this item direct from the SDE shop via this link or using the button below.

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David Sylvian

Dead Bees On A Cake [VINYL]


A1           I Surrender
A2           The Scent of Magnolia
A3           Dobro #1
A4           Midnight Sun

B1           Cover Me With Flowers
B2           Krishna Blue
B3           Albuquerque ( Dobro #6 )

C1           Thalheim
C2           Alphabet Angel
C3           God Man
C4           Café Europa
C5           Aparna and Nimisha ( Dobro #5 )
C6           Pollen Path

D1           The Shining Of Things
D2           Wanderlust
D3           All Of My Mother’s Names
D4           Praise
D5           Darkest Dreaming

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Has anyone else noticed that the lyrics for Scent of Magnolias is absent from both his Trophies ll and the expansive Hypergrapia publication?


What happened to the iTunes US pre-order? I pre-ordered this album and now it has completely disappeared off iTunes. Tonight is the download and it’s nowhere to be found? Anyone know what happened? I don’t even see it on iTunes UK! When I take a look in my iTunes pre-order account I see it there, but the album cover has been completely removed. Its as if the digital album has been withdrawn.


I think we all have to accept that David won’t be releasing records like Secrets of the Beehive again. Since Blemish (15 years ago), which had it’s moments, I’ve completely lost interest in his career or any of the ‘music’ he makes. Lord knows I’ve tried, but it doesn’t seem to have any redeeming features for me.

I buy music to be entertained and I loved Sylvian’s poetry, lyricism and the intertwining of melodies and instrumentation via incredible session players, including notably Sakamoto.

There’s no point complaining about it as Sylvian clearly feels he has explored that ground enough, and if he’d ever tried to fit into a box we wouldn’t have had the brilliant music that we do have to cherish.

It’s a shame as, from the perspective of musicality, the last 15 years feels like a criminal waste of talent and few other have the artistry and conviction to step into his shoes even writing within the ‘commercial’ music.


Hear, hear.


Never say never. He followe Blemish with Nine Horses , probably his most conmercial sounding album to date! And off course his excellent tracks on Steve Jansen’s ‘slope’ were commercial by his standard. Don’t understand why the album with Joan the Policewoman never saw the light of day. Maybe one day.
I keep reading rumours about Sylvian’s health. Hoping they’re not true, but might explain his absesnse.


Totally agree with what is said. Feel exactly the same.

Nero Schwarz

Does anyone know if this edition was supervised by David himself (artwork, running order) ? I think I remember an interview where he regretted not putting the extra songs on the album, but I’m not sure about that. I also wonder who was responsible for the new artwork. But being a CD-collector, I wait for the CD-edition…


There are no CD release planned for this. The release happened under close scrutiny by Sylvian himself who asked his long time collaborator Chris Bigg to take care of it. Photos were taken by his ex-wife Ingrid Chavez for the front cover and by Anton Corbijn for the gatefold sleeve.

Chris F

I pre-ordered this on Amazon UK and the price was actually quite decent considering it’s getting shipped to the US.
The thing I would love to see get issued on vinyl and remastered in general would be the Nine Horses ‘Snow Borne Sorrow’ record. Maybe throw in the EPA and Remax tracks in the Deluxe Edition. Such a great album.
A friend of mine and myself have been working on a Reissue label for vinyl. I actually approached his management about doing a vinyl pressing of the Forementioned NH record, since it had never been released on vinyl. I got a reply then communication died off.

Can’t wait for this one to arrive though.


I would love it if some label (DGM?) would reissue the Sylvian/Fripp album on LP. It never came out that way in the US, and copies are ridiculously expensive on discogs and the like these days.

John Peace

Now if only someone would remix his solo albums (particularly the more recent ones) so the vocals aren’t 5 times louder than everything else.


Interesting comment.

I thought I knew his opus very well, but something like that never crossed my mind…..


Used to love the fact he was an arrogant provocateur in the music industry. Now bored with him releasing sub-Eno noises, whilst endorsing re-releases he always railed against..$$$$$$$


I disagree with the terms “sub-Eno” or “Enoesque”. Firstly, David as well as other ex-Japan members created a healthier part of the so-called “Ambient World” and what is remarkable of his output are collabs with prog- & Kraut-rock veterans, namely Robert Fripp & Holger Czuky.
Secondly, it is not true, that his recent work is purely noise : I would like to point out at “there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight” – a collaboration with Franz Wright which is outstanding. He works with voice of Franz Wright the same way as Christian Fennesz does on his purely instrumental releases. I like the way David Sylvian evolves through the past quarter of the century. He always pushes himself fast forward, though many cannot see/feel it.
Dead Bees is surely farewell to his pop-past. And I am not a vinylist, too, although I still retain his solo & Japan vinyls up to 1991.


… and what a beautiful new cover!
I love it that the RSD had a different cover…


Reading some comments, I think some are missing the point. Dead Bees on a Cake was released in 1999 and only on CD. Until RSD 2018, there has never been a vinyl release. One year later, David Sylvian and Virgin Records released the superb 2 CD compilation Everyting and Nothing (1980-2000 retrospective album including new, remixed and previously unreleased material) and David Sylvian left Virgin and created Samadhi Sound (his own record label). There was also a 3 CD limited edition with a 3rd disc containing 4 extra tracks : two versions of the scent of magnolia (edit + portobello mix), Brilliant trees (version 2000) and the Blinding light of heaven. As some fans already mentioned, the 4 additional tracks on this vinyl release were already available (on CD) on the Everything and Nothing compilation. All 4 are from the Dead Bees on a Cake sessions in 1999 and were completed in 2000.

About the different track order with 4 tracks added, I guess it was the original tracklisting and Dead Bees on a Cake was supposed to be a double CD but Virgin didn’t gave Sylvian enough money (or time) to complete these 4 tracks or they just didn’t want to produce a double CD. It’s worth mentioning they didn’t add the additional tracks and mixes from the singles (God man and I surrender). With those 9 extra tracks from Godman and I Surrender singles, they probably have enough material for a Deluxe double CD expanded edition. As David did a tour in 2000-2001 for Evything and Nothing, they probably have enough material for a Super Deluxe edition with the superb artwork (made by Vaughan Olliver and Chris Bigg). At the time, I bought Trophies I and Trophies II (sold at David Sylvian shows during the tour), books containing artwork and lyrics). These are superb and Virgin/Sylvian could use all the artwork Vaughan Olliver made for Dead Bees on a Cake if they want to include a book in an eventual Super Deluxe Edition for the 20th Anniversary of the album in 2019.

@Larry Davis : if you want a good start to discover David Sylvian then the retrospective compilation Everything and Nothing is a good starting point. It’s more focused on his 1990’s work. There’s also the compilation A Victim of Stars 1982-2012, it’s a more complete, accessible and chronological retrospective including his early singles Red Guitar, The Ink in the Well, Pulling Punches, etc. and his singles with Ryuchi Sakamoto (Forbidden Colors, Bamboo Houses, Bamboo Music).

Steve Pritchard

A remastered CD version is what this needs, not the crackling distorted sound of vinyl. By the way Paul, the final track is ‘Darkest Dreaming’, not ‘Darkest Dreams’.

alan hansen

could not agree more that omitting a cd edition of this is musically unforgiveable. now… if only mr. sylvian would get “blue of noon” onto a cd at some point as well.


Just buy it and download the WAV files and enjoy as proper digital downloads offer far better audio than that of CD’s.

Larry Davis

Ya know?? I’m not all that familiar with Sylvian’s solo stuff…or much Japan either… But what little i did hear has me intrigued… In the vein of the obtuse solo work of Scott Walker methinks…I woulda bought that white vinyl RSD of Dead Bees On A Cake…love that title btw…IF I saw it at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, but they didn’t have it and was on the UK list only…I may buy a used copy on CD cheap until this expanded version gets a CD release…

Chris Squires

Larry, if you want to go deeper into David’s work the place to start is Secrets of the Beehive. It is an album that there is no going back from. Once you have heard it and once you understand it, it’ll never leave you. Pure Beauty in plastic (Whichever type of plastic you prefer).

David McCallum

Agreed… Secrets of the Beehive is the one to have. It filters through to 4AD via Hope Blister and also Duncan Sheik (cover) and Sneaker Pimps (sample). After that album, the Everything and Nothing compilation is excellent… but I do sometimes re-order it to chronological order as A Victim of Stars (also good) is. It’s great to see Sylvian a bit re-engaged after almost a decade.

I’m shocked that Everything and Nothing is close to 20 years old!


I’m again stressing at the point of all these new reissues being released on vinyl and download. Are they no CD players left anymore? Did all cds just vanish overnight? Those new Japan remasters Of Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids are also being absent on cd. I think survey would easily tell us that cds still outsell vinyl by a wide margin. I’m a big David Sylvian/Japan admirer and have almost every release on cd. This is not fair! CDs are being treated like the stepchild of the music industry.


From what I can tell, the Polaroids and Tin Drum are not remasters per se, but are being mastered for a vinyl half speed release. Both these LPs were remastered and released on CD circa 2003

Michael McA

Is that the correct tracklisting? The extra tracks seem to have been inserted willy-nilly – or is it due to run times? – and original tracks mixed up.

Dare I ask – CD version?!

A great album – the extras are great too – wish he’d do more similar stuff – he’s gone off on a bit of a tangent since this album. You’d be hard pressed to hear anything quite as heartbreakingly beautiful as Darkest Dreaming.

His 80’s stuff is magnificent too. A real class act. Too intelligent for the masses.


David Sylvian and Nick Cave are my two favorite artists so that’s good news. I bought the RSD edition three months ago and I was waiting for a black vinyl reissue for regular use (not a big fan of colored vinyl editions and I usually play them as little as I can, colored editions are mostly a collectors item for me).

Dead Bees On A Cake is truly a fantastic album and the musicians who play on that album are also amongst my favorite : Ryuchi Sakamoto, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, Talvin Singh and of course Steve Jansen. The samples of Djivan Gasparyan and the Mahavishnu Orchestra used on ” I Surrender” and “Darkest Dreaming” are good examples of clever sampling. At the time (1999) when the album was released, I wasn’t familiar with Djivan Gasparyan’s work and after Dead Bees on a Cake, I immediatly bought his collaboration album with Michael Brook and “Apricots from heaven” and I became a fan of Djivan Gasparyan too.

Just like Nick Cave, David Sylvian is an artist without compromise.

Kevin Galliford

I do like this album but it’s not as good as his late 80’s output. The big question is though, will we ever get another album of “proper” songs? I really like his instrumental work but sooner or later, it should be time to turn the microphone on, get the guitar out etc etc. Come on David!!


But those bonus track were released on Everything and Nothing, weren’t they? I know the beautiful Scent if Magnolia was, in at least two versions (if you have the bonus CD).


I’m sure all David’s fans know, but the bonus tracks are all from the 2000 compilation Everything and Nothing. But, let’s not be too sniffy, at least there’s some added value to this release. Not his best, it really is too much of an “I love Ingrid” album for my taste. It’s the next album “Blemish” (the ‘divorce’ record ☹️) that is his masterpiece for me.


Agree, for someone who claimed his worked was Not autobiographical, both albums clearly were. Love his music but the man is deeply flawed…..


This needs to be released on CD so I can replace my old copy!!!


It will be great to hear these bonus tracks without having to pay Ebay prices.

Paul H

The four bonus tracks are not new but are available on the compilation Everything and Nothing, (only on CD though).


Were they not all on “Everything + Nothing”?

Chris Hanington

Such a beautiful album and happy to see it being released to everyone. I managed to get a copy of the RSD release thanks to Graham Dyer, a person who I have never meet in person but become friends through a SuperDeluxeEdition post. So a huge thanks to Graham and to Paul for bringing us music fans together. I will be buying this release and will keep my fingers crossed for future David Sylvian re-issues.

Carlo Lo Cascio

Hi Paul,
any chance to get a new cd version?
That would be also very
much appreciated…best, Carlo


Lets hope the quality of the pressing is better than the RSD white vinyl reissue – mine is appalling on the 2nd disc with a lot of surface noise, and was the same for a lot of other buyers!

Also not sure why it has to change cover yet again what was wrong with the original 1999 artwork?

Don’t get me wrong, i’m excited for all this new re-issues of David Sylvian, Holger Czukay and the upcoming 1/2 speed 45rpm Japan remasters – just wish more was done to make sure the quality of the pressings were consistent throughout.

Also, hope with the popularity of the Japan re-issues, that their other Hansa-era albums might get the same treatment in the near future?

Andy Robertson

My white vinyl version is immaculate – sound quality is amazing. I agree with the artwork change though, specifically from the RSD edition to this…

Would absolutely love an expanded Quiet Life on vinyl too….

Pete C T

I was lucky to get a copy for around 3o Euro about two months ago from the distributor in Hong Kong. It was probably the last copy they had.

Chris Squires

The above, posted by Pete, is the Red vinyl version. The black vinyl version is a bit cheaper and easier to find



Agree, mine is full of crackles and flat. Not sure if it was remastered. Interesting though David is now endorsing old releases… needs the money?


A fabulous album and Sylvian has the best male vocals I’ve ever heard. I’m not a vinylist, so I’ll be sticking with my CD copy


First time I’ve heard the term ‘vinylist’, I like it!
I’m not one either so hope this ends up as a cd reissue.

Paul Taylor

I may have heard wrong, but didn’t the white RSD issue only have an etched Side 4?

Andy Robertson

You did hear wrong…:)

James Knapman

No, it didn’t.


I *think* you might be getting confused with the Human League RSD release ‘Secrets’ which had an etched side 4.

Regarding this release – I think I prefer the artwork of this version to the RSD release and the original.

I would love to see Brilliant Trees/Gone to Earth/Secrets of the Beehive get remastered heavyweight vinyl reissues.


As much as I love David Sylvian – him being my favorite artist – I would much rather see his solo output from 1984 – 1987 remastered / half-speed remastered for the best possible results – especially Alchemy / Gone To Earth as personal favorites…..

Not to mention that his recent work hasnt really been very prolific nor especially engaging, so I hope he decides to sing & compose once again as he knows best….


I was pretty happy with the 2003 re-release of Gone to Earth on CD. I went through several vinyl copies when it first came out in 86, trying to get one that was playable. For some reason Virgin Records had problems pressing the album. After 4 returns, I gave in and just kept the last copy.

Mic Smith

@mkr funnily enough I had the same problem with Gone to Earth. That and Laurie Anderson’s United States was the beginning of my move away from vinyl.

Nigel D Day

I would love a new Gone To Earth release too. And some new material! But someone told me he has retired ? Is this true ????? Say it ain’t so